Florida could have become the fifth state to cap the duration of alimony payments.
When a marriage ends in divorce, many Orange County spouses are concerned about their financial security. To combat this issue, many individuals are required to provide their previous spouse with financial assistance in the form of alimony payments. However, new trends in alimony are arising.
Current Florida laws remain in effect
In Florida, current laws require the spouse to make alimony payments to the other until they die. However, a recently turned down bill would have put a cap on how long these payments would have to last, place restrictions on the amount of alimony based on the spouses' salary and give judges the right to alter pre-existing alimony agreements, says Fox News.
Four hours before this bill was supposed to go into effect, the Governor of Florida vetoed it. If the governor had done nothing about the bill before midnight, it would have automatically become law. Although there are four other states that have implemented similar alimony laws in the country, Florida did not become the fifth, states Fox News. The governor stated that he vetoed the bill to protect stay-at-home parents involved in divorces and those that have planned their lives around the current alimony payments that they receive.
The two sides to alimony
In many dissolved marriages, alimony payments are designed to assist women that:
- Gave up their career to stay at home and care for a family.
- Helped their spouse achieve their current status in their career by supporting him financially or otherwise.
- Are no longer employable except in jobs that pay minimum wage.
- Are receiving fifty percent of the marriage's assets but unlike the husband, are not able to replace the lost assets as easily.
While many Florida women were threatened by this new bill, many were advocates of it passing. For example, an elderly Florida woman worked diligently her entire life to save up for retirement and her savings were threatened after her and her husband decided to divorce, states the Sun Sentinel. Because she made more than her ex-husband while they were married, she is required to make hefty alimony payments to help support him.
Like this woman, many Florida men's rights groups were also proponents of this bill. For many men, being required to make alimony payments until their ex-wife passes away threatens their ability to retire comfortably. According to the co-director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families and Budgeting, approximately 80 percent of divorced individuals go on to remarry. This bill would have prevented individuals from financially supporting their ex-spouse and their ex-spouse's new partner.
If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about how alimony payments will affect your financial situation, consult with an attorney that specializes in family law.
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